It’s okay if our muscles hurt after exercise. But nothing should be overdone. It shouldn’t get to the point where we can’t take the stiffness anymore. How to relieve muscle pain after exercise and speed up recovery?
Warming up is a commonplace that we are all familiar with. Without a thorough warm-up, we can lock our back or sprain an ankle. How to warm up? First, we need to warm up the body by going for a 5-10 minute run, jump, walk on a treadmill or other cardio machine at the fitness center. Once the muscles are warmed up, we can start stretching the whole body
We’ll start at the head and end at the calves. Stretch the neck muscles by slowly twisting the head left and right. But never tilt your head back. Next, stretch the shoulders. We make circles with our hands, stretching the biceps, pectoral muscles, hips, back. We can even try to join our hands behind our back, which is one of the very effective exercises against round backs. Next up will be the thighs, hamstrings and calves
Stretching after exercise
For the best recovery, we place special emphasis on post-workout stretching. This will reduce the likelihood of having stiff muscles a day and a half later. We stretch the whole body, especially those areas that we have stressed the most. At least 5 minutes per body part is sufficient, the more time you devote to it the better
If you suffer from shortened hamstrings, you can spend at least 10 minutes each day stretching the back of your legs and hamstrings. This will quickly increase strength and flexibility in your knees. Pay special attention to the hamstrings, especially when strengthening the back of the thighs
We know compression socks and sleeves from football players, among others. However, they are also becoming increasingly popular in other sports. Compression improves blood circulation and therefore better nourishment and regeneration of the muscles. You’ll get the best results by adding light exercise to your daily routine, with an emphasis on multiple repetitions and stretching at the same time
Get the pain out of the way
When your muscles ache after exercising, don’t sit back and exercise! But that’s easy to say if our muscles hurt so bad that we can’t even walk slowly or can barely reach off the couch for the TV remote while whining in despair. It doesn’t mean you have to run to the gym or to practice your favorite sport. Doing so would risk muscle strain and exhaustion. It is true that it is better to stretch gradually than to give your muscles a shock by putting them into sudden inactivity
When your muscles are sore, support recovery with light exercise. How? You can squat for a while or do 10 lunges on each leg along with toe lunges. This will get blood to the shortened and aching muscles and warm up the body. This way the muscles will recover faster. In addition, just a short walk, in short, any movement will help. You can increase the speed of regeneration by using the compression socks already mentioned
Regular yoga practice is a great addition to any sport, but of course it is also a sport in itself. Yoga will also relieve you of many health problems and muscle stiffness. It improves body coordination, yogis move more with ease. Regular practice will guarantee you a balanced body composition. You can choose from many types of yoga, depending on whether you prefer a slower or faster version. Slower types of yoga, such as hatha yoga, yin yoga, kundalini yoga, are not as strenuous, but they are guaranteed to stretch you. If you’re more fit, opt for a quality hatha yoga class.
Hatha yoga is particularly demanding in terms of stamina in postures and proper breathing, which can be especially challenging in twisting postures where we tend to get rather choked up. The happy medium is vinyasa yoga, which combines dynamic elements with slower ones. For challenging athletes who don’t like slow yoga, power yoga or ashtanga yoga are good options. Aero yoga on straps is also a particularly fun form of exercise
In every area of our lives, nothing should be overdone. Not only less experienced athletes can overtrain very easily. Excessive strain keeps the body stressed, which does not have time to regenerate the muscles. This also stops their growth, because in this case the muscles undergo more decomposition processes and less growth processes. Better to go a week without exercise than to train through great fatigue. It won’t harm your muscles, on the contrary
Sleep is the best regeneration of the body, because it is during sleep that the body simply regenerates best. Each person needs a different amount of sleep, some people need 6 hours and are as fit as a fiddle, others need 9 hours. Most people, however, feel best with 7 hours of sleep. It’s no good denying yourself sleep. Getting enough sleep also makes us more efficient. By gradually adopting a healthy lifestyle, we will promote good quality sleep by allowing the body to focus on regeneration during sleep instead of breaking down toxins, e.g. from alcohol
it strengthens the body’s overall immunity and acts as a prevention against inflammation. However, artificially synthesized vitamin C has equally beneficial effects. Vitamin B1, vitamin E and Omega 3 and potassium also help with general weakness. Bananas are the most readily available and tasty source of potassium. Turmeric, which is now often available in smaller supermarkets, also helps significantly against muscle cramps. BCAAs, which contain all the necessary amino acids, vitamins and minerals, are also used for fatigue and to aid recovery.
Supplementing the necessary minerals and vitamins
If we have been suffering from cramps and muscle pain for a long time, we may need to supplement with the right vitamins and minerals. We get most of these from our diet, but in acute conditions there is no shortage of supplements. The best known of these is magnesium, often in combination with vitamin B6. However, to replenish the substances whose deficiency causes us chronic pain, we need to combine several dietary supplements. It’s not enough to just take a magnesium supplement.
Other important vitamins and minerals that we often lack and are significantly involved in recovery include calcium and vitamin D. If we don’t have enough of these substances, it is the cramps and tremors (or “ants”) in our limbs that cause them. Vitamin C in fruit and vegetables
Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “Eat or you won’t have the strength!” There is a reason for this. Starving yourself is not the best way to be beautiful and fit. Moreover, by neglecting to eat, we are setting ourselves up for health problems at a young age when our bones, joints and muscles are not sufficiently nourished. How to eat for the best muscle recovery?
- Don’t train fasted – always eat, otherwise our muscles will lose weight and turn to fat. Which we don’t want. And if we like to train in the morning but can’t even fit in a protein, make sure we have a full dinner
- Thebest time to burn is half an hour after training – this is when the body needs to replenish glycogen to nourish literally starving muscles and absorb as many nutrients as possible. Therefore, it is advisable to include protein or complex carbohydrates in the post-workout diet, e.g. banana, cottage cheese, protein, meat, which will nourish the muscle in the best possible way. If you need to lose weight, have a purely protein-only post-workout meal.
- Fats – it is best to avoid fats after training. However, if you don’t have the demands on yourself like a top bodybuilder on a bulking diet, a few nuts, a piece of avocado or a spoonful of peanut butter will be appreciated by your muscles just the same, because it’s simply a nutritious meal.
It is to drink a minimum of 2 litres a day. The higher the load, the more water. However, the water must not be too much, then our body cannot process it and paradoxically this leads to dehydration. Sometimes we feel dehydrated even though we drink enough water. In this case, various ionic drinks, coconut water, BCAA, herbal teas or plant or animal milk are suggested. All these options provide us with substances beneficial to our body in addition to hydration.
Taping, or kinesio-taping, originated with Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kasa. The technique involves fixing torn or strained muscles with tape made of a special breathable material that is directly adhered to the skin. This results in faster healing of muscle tissue or stabilization of individual body parts.
Massages effectively support the body’s regeneration processes, relieve chronic pain and relax stiff muscles. You can get a massage from a professional or massage yourself at home using massage tools such as various rollers, balls and massage guns. Learning specific strokes or using the aids takes a little practice and self-effort, but using a good quality massage gun is the easiest way to give yourself an intense massage for sore muscles. Use the attachments to massage problem areas such as thighs and legs. Massage guns are no longer just for top athletes. They are suitable for everyone who wants to get rid of health problems even in the comfort of their own home. This relatively new trend also makes the massage gun a possible perfect gift for our loved ones.